Canal and River Trust has officially begun work to dredge Titford Pools in Oldbury as part of a £3.1 million project to improve water quality and encourage wildlife back to the area.
Working in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund, Highways England, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and volunteers from the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society, the dredging will see a long reach excavator hauling out mud and silt from the bottom of the Pools.
As well as improving water quality, removing the silt will also make it easier for boaters to enter and moor at the Pools.
During the project, around 21,617 cubic meters of silt is expected to be removed.
The dredging is the first stage of a two-year project which aims to open up the area, encouraging more plants and wildlife to this part of the canal. The project also includes plans to upgrade the towpath around the Pools, cut back overgrown trees, bushes and shrubs and update the visitor signage.
Samantha Bucknall, from the Canal and River Trust, said: “Titford Pools is a wonderful surprise to visitors exploring this part of the canal so its great news we’ve started work to improve this area for people and wildlife.”
“Research shows that being next to water is good for your mental and physical health, so this work is important as we want to help improve the health and wellbeing of local people.”
Titford Pools are located along the Titford Canal near the M5 motorway and are part of the Birmingham Canal Navigations – which this year is celebrating its 250th birthday.
The Pools were originally constructed as a small reservoir in the 1770’s to feed the Titford Canal and today feeds water to both the canal and to Edgbaston Reservoir in Birmingham.
The dredging work is expected to last four months and finish in early 2020.